People in Arizona are uniting with lawmakers to counter attempts by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church to get attention for their anti-abortion views by picketing the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green and others killed in Saturday’s mass shooting.
One group plans for an “an ‘angel action’ — with 8- by 10-foot ‘angel wings’ worn by participants and used to shield mourners from pickets,” CNN reported.
“For something like this to happen in Tucson was a really big shock to us all,” Tucson resident Christin Gilmer told CNN. “Our nightmare happened when we saw Westboro Baptist Church was going to picket the funerals.”
Gilmer is one of 42 people who have signed onto the “Build Angel Wings for the Westboro Funeral Counter-Protest and Meeting” Facebook page.
Another Facebook page, “Show Support for the Families of the Tucson Shooting Victims,” has 4,500 members.
The Arizona legislature is also planning to introduce legislation to protect the victims’ families from the protesters.
“We’re going to try to protect the families from undue harassment,” Rep. Daniel Patterson (D) told Talking Points Memo.
Arizona House Democratic Caucus aide Sara Muench said that the legislation would be modeled after laws in other states designed to protect funerals.
“It’s definitely going to happen,” she said. “Hopefully this week.”
Westboro Baptist Church is known for picking the funerals of people who died of AIDS, gay people and soldiers. They often hold signs that say “God Hates Fags,” and “Thank God for IEDs.”
A flyer posted on the church’s website Sunday read, “THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER — 6 DEAD!”
“God appointed this rod for your sins! God sent the shooter!” the flyer continued. “This hateful nation unleashed violent veterans on the servants of God at WBC–hoping to silence our kind warning to obey God and flee the wrath to come.”
The church added that it “prays for your destruction” regularly.
A federal appeals court ruled last year that picketing funerals amounted to free speech and was protected by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is now considering an appeal of that ruling, filed by the father of a dead Marine.
Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.
In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.
"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.
"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.
Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".
Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis
President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.
"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.
Rep AOC helped Bernie Sanders turn out ‘the largest crowd drawn by any candidate’: report
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) turn out a huge crowd at a campaign rally in New York City.
Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, officially endorsed the Vermont senator at the event.
"Bernie Sanders has a crowd of 25,872 this afternoon at his Queens rally, according to the security company handling the event, Contemporary Services Corp. That would make this event, his first since his heart attack 18 days ago, the largest crowd drawn by any candidate," Buzzfeed News correspondent Ruby Cramer reported.